SOTTES was created in 2017 by Jeanne Guenat and Elliot Upton. SOTTES—pronounced "sɔt" and translates as "rebellious" in French—, hopes to convey the feeling of being young and child-like.
With a shared vision of working towards a season-less and waste-free industry, both Guenat and Upton have combined their fashion design background and luxury fashion work experience to create a brand that defies fast fashion and factory-made production. Moving away from the fashion capitals into a small village in Switzerland, they aim to interrupt the world of contemporary fashion with their sustainably upcycled line of undefined garments for the undefined audience—one that goes beyond age, size, gender and trends.
With every collection, garments are designed in a customizable way which gives the wearer the ease of versatility. With them being size-less and genderless, the SOTTES customer can be anyone and everyone, and the SOTTES wardrobe possibilities, endless.
Choosing to focus on upcycling, it gives way to spontaneity when designing their collections; whatever recycled materials procured, will be the directive to what they will produce next. As it is with creating art, everything at SOTTES is done with purpose, care and intent—all garments are hand-made by Guenat and Upton in their workshop alongside a team of local seamstresses, who meticulously finish each piece from beginning to end, like how couture is traditionally made.
Given the man-hours required to create each piece, collections are released twice a year with limited runs per style. Through the hand-making of each garment and nature of the recycled materials used, every piece has its own character and story to tell; how the narrative moves forward, continues on with the SOTTES customer telling theirs.
Black and white silkscreen printed images can be seen throughout the collection. These prints give a child-like naivety and playfulness, akin to that of a child drawing on their mother's freshly painted walls—aptly capturing the core meaning of SOTTES. For instance, printed on the Busboy Shorts is "sale gamin", which is a French slang for "naughty kid", a cheeky term mothers use to call their children when they are misbehaving.
No detail is spared in the hand-made production process of the collection. Each piece of clothing features embroidery details of the "SOTTES" logo and the "Stickman" drawing, which draws back to the child-like naivety and playfulness of a child's sketches. All buttons are designed and made in-house; laser-cut using recycled Plexiglas and then sand blasted, shaped and polished by hand. The garments also feature a variety of fastenings that allows the wearer to adjust accordingly to suit their own size and style, however they see fit. Most styles can be worn in multiple ways with some being completely detachable, as seen on the Next Patient Coat and Packing Mule Vest and Packing Mule Belt.
At Surrender, art plays an important role; it stimulates the senses, invokes thoughts and the exchange of ideas and conversations within our retail environment. Similarly, with SOTTES' branding and notion that every piece is an artwork and blank canvas for its wearer to build their identity upon, both brands share the common belief and link between fashion and art.
Come September 2018, SOTTES will be debuting their brand into the retail market with their first collection, "RECOMMENCE", launching exclusively at Surrender. A worldwide first, the limited-run collection is individually numbered and tagged with "SOTTES for Surrender" in special commemoration.